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[uhn-kuhmf-tuh-buh l, -kuhm-fer-tuh-buh l] /ʌnˈkʌmf tə bəl, -ˈkʌm fər tə bəl/
causing discomfort or distress; painful; irritating.
in a state of discomfort; uneasy; conscious of stress or strain.
Origin of uncomfortable
1585-95; un-1 + comfortable
Related forms
uncomfortableness, noun
uncomfortably, adverb
2. awkward, nervous, discomfited, strained. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for uncomfortable
  • Some people will be upset and uncomfortable when they become aware of their prejudices and biases.
  • It is not a terribly painful experience, but uncomfortable enough to clearly remind an animal or human of what is off limits.
  • However, egg-donation procedure is uncomfortable and potentially painful, and it carries some medical risk.
  • Pressure on the eye during indirect ophthalmoscopy by may be slightly uncomfortable, but it should not be painful.
  • Her friends and colleagues said she had told them at the time that she was deeply uncomfortable about the situation.
  • Professors, some of my students tell me, should not be trigger happy since they can make students extremely uncomfortable.
  • It's uncomfortable and there is some lingering stress surrounding it.
  • Our cultures are now so completely heterogeneous that many of us feel uncomfortable living in an all white community.
  • uncomfortable in a world of privilege, a novelist headed for the hills.
  • Historic architecture surrounded by a contemporary garden may seem an uncomfortable pairing at first.
British Dictionary definitions for uncomfortable


not comfortable
feeling or causing discomfort or unease; disquieting
Derived Forms
uncomfortableness, noun
uncomfortably, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for uncomfortable

early 15c. "causing discomfort," from un- (1) "not" + comfortable. Meaning "feeling discomfort, ill-at-ease" is attested from 1796. Related: Uncomfortably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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